The ancient Greek myths make for fun reading, especially some of the inventive ways that people were punished when they went to Hades (the Greek hell). One guy was cursed to spend eternity rolling a massive round boulder up a steep hill, only to watch the boulder roll down to the bottom of the hill again – over and over for eternity.
If you are overweight, and ever been on a calorie restricted diet, I want you to remember this poor guy, because in a sense he is you except, you never did anything wrong to deserve being punished in hell.
Calories restricted diets don’t work. What we mean by this is that you may lose weight with calorie restricted diets, but you will very likely put the weight back on.
This is the reason why (and if the following reads like your life story, it was for me too):
People become overweight and obese usually over very long periods of time – years for most people. Becoming overweight is a metabolic syndrome, which at its core is a consequence of the way insulin is produced every time food is consumed.
So, let’s say that you are now overweight or obese (or, fat, to put it politically incorrectly… you are not alone, most adults in the West are fat). You became fat because for years you ate lots of food, lots of carbohydrates and sugars, and you ate way too much of this type of food for any kind of activity that you were doing.
Every time you ate – each meal, over days, weeks, months and years - insulin was produced, and over a very long time, your body became more and more resistant to the effects of insulin. So, ever so gradually, more insulin was produced by your body, to deal with the food that you were continually shoving into your mouth, until your hormones were completely malfunctioning.
Whenever the mood took you to do something about your increased weight (remember those times when you said “I have had enough and I need to lose weight” and you actually committed to a “diet” long enough to lose weight), you inevitably went on a calorie restricted diet. You are not alone, just about everyone does at least one time in their life, and many people go through endless swings of diet and weight regain. Me too.
You probably followed the rubbish advice of the past 30 years (just like I did) and you ate small meals frequently – probably each of these meals contained carbohydrates.
Now please get this one point, because it is crucial for you to understand: Every time you ate the little sparrow carbohydrate filled meals, your body spiked insulin constantly throughout the day, with every frequent meal.
So, you did not attend to the fundamental primary cause of your obesity, which was your insulin production. Instead, you concentrated on decreasing the volume of food you ate in one day, which yes resulted in some weight loss, but the underlying insulin problem remained and was never fixed.
So, when you stopped the calorie restricted diet (as you inevitably must otherwise you will suffer malnutrition), your body was malnourished, starving, you had not eaten a satisfying big meal in weeks or months, your psychology and metabolism was completely depressed … AND… nothing had been done about your insulin problem which was nicely spiked every time you ate a small carbohydrate meal frequently throughout the day.
So, bam, you gain the weight back on. Sometimes it takes years to put the weight back on, because you maintain real food discipline, like a Zen Buddhist monk, living in some focused state of absolute food meditation, watching and weighing every damn mouthful of every damn meal every damn day.
It’s complete misery. The underlying insulin problem, which has never been attended to (and actually you have been unwittingly catering to it every day) remains and waits like a hidden snake, and it bites you in the end.
Then you blame yourself. Then you feel bad. Then you try on the skinny clothes that used to fit that don’t fit anymore… then you get really depressed and think you are a complete failure for having no willpower.
Here is the truth - NO-ONE has!!!! You are a phenomenal human, just for getting as far as you did! No one (except me) ever told you that you were playing with your health at the Insulin Casino, and the games were fixed against you.
If you had only known that you should have re-booted your insulin production by intermittent fasting, your weight loss would have remained off, and your new biologically optimum body weight would be achievable, stable and easy thing to maintain.
Calorie restricted diets do not work, they have been a monumental failure… remember the Greek myth boulder guy?
Give your body a complete rest every day from eating for at least 16 hours (apart from coffee or tea during the fasting times), and then after some weeks (or months if you are morbidly obese) your endocrinology will return to normal again. Once you have this achievement in your pocket, the rest is easy (I was going to write “the rest is a piece of cake” but that would not be funny to you right know if you have read the above).